For every strong vibrant educational ecosystem, you will a find a community of believers and change agents, who fundamentally want to see their very own town grow and prosper. For economic mobility to flourish, jobs to be created, and citizens to be able to live a comfortable lifestyle, it starts with ensuring students beginning at Pre-K have the necessary resources to foster a high quality education experience. As evident and clear as this may be, countries across the planet continue to fall short. Its regions, such as Latin America, that via its acceptance in education innovation, a substantial number of students are not finishing school, nearly 40 percent graduate from the secondary level across the region. Conceivably even worse, students that are completing school are not getting a quality education that sufficiently prepares them for college and attaining prosperous lives. International exams, such as the PISA evaluations, only provide one data point among countless others that display Latin America at the bottom of the education barrel.
As Village Capital expands to new ecosystems across the globe, we are thrilled to pivot our work toward LatAm. On Monday, September 14th, Village Capital is proud to announce programming in its 10th country, Colombia. Bogota is a growing city and possesses rich opportunities for entrepreneurial innovation in education. We believe Bogota is fully prepared to provide the best possible environment for entrepreneurs working tirelessly at the nexus of education quality and access through technology platforms and unique models t and and hat are enabling teachers and students to achieve their full potential.
We invite the Colombian entrepreneur community to get to know Village Capital through a one-day Education Forum, highlighting 11 innovative ventures. Led by my colleague Amanda Jacobson, this forum will convene leading education entrepreneurs, with solutions addressing the country’s education challenges.
The Forum will be divided into three parts: a private session during the day for entrepreneurs and mentors to interact, an afternoon pitchfest, and an evening cocktail, co-hosted with Pearson Affordable Learning Fund and Omidyar Network. During the pitchfest, participating ventures will have the opportunity to pitch their ventures in an ignite-style round of 3 minutes per team, followed by the selection of one winner to receive a $1,500 USD grant prize through Village Capital’s signature “peer-selection” process and a second winner to receive an audience-selected prize of $1,000 USD.
Colombian entrepreneurs deserve our support, more importantly the teachers and students. Let us build community around the most promising ventures that will increase student achievement in LatAm. Columbia has a target to support 90,000 entrepreneurs, Village Capital believes there are a number of enterprises that are solving major problems and are ready to be invested in. Below are the 11 selected ventures participating in the upcoming venture forum:
Lorapp: Affordable, on-demand e-Textbook rentals.
ESCALA: ESCALA is a financial platform that seeks to generate greater opportunities for access to higher education for children of low and middle-income families in Colombia and Latin America.
CoSchool: CoSchool is developing Colombia’s future leadership, building critical character skills in students through innovative education programs: leadership programs, urban summer camps and teacher training.
La Nueva Educación (Make It Real): Make it Real is an online, self-paced, full-stack web development program with 1-on-1 mentorships.
ukanbook: ukanbook optimizes teaching and learning in the classroom.
EduEMPLEA: EduEMPLEA is a vocational training institution that offers tailor-made training for companies, students and governments
Tarefa: Tarefa connects students with timely answers.
Nu’s Treehouse: Nu’s Treehouse supports parents and teachers in helping children learn social and emotional skills while playing numeracy and literacy games on low-cost, digital devices.
Too Easy English: TooEasy English, the most convenient and effective way to learn English.
Kindery: Creating interactive transmedia experiences that motivate the kids to play and create stories.
Tutorya: Tutorya is an online learning platform that offers live tutoring to improve academic performance and results in standardized tests.